“Thank God for all I’ve missed, cause it led me here to this.”

Hey, pretty girl!

When I first got the news that coronavirus would be sending me home from college, I was devastated.

Let me set the scene for you: I was in an Uber on the way back from Lululemon picking up Janna’s birthday gift. The second I stepped into the Uber I received an email. My stomach dropped, knowing the rumors from the last week about being sent home due to coronavirus. The email read in bold “classes will operate fully online for the remainder of the semester.” I immediately began to tear up in the back of the Uber (overdramatic…I know).

Questions flooded my head immediately: How would I be able to go without seeing my friends for five months? Would I really be missing the end of my freshman year dorm experience? … but the question that was looming in the back of my mind that truthfully made me tear up was … “how could I keep the boy I’m interested in, interested in me if I wasn’t hanging out with him a few times a week?”

When I returned to campus, I sat at my desk and sobbed. Looking back, I wasn’t actually that upset about online courses. I was more upset that I would no longer be able to keep the attention of a boy I thought liked me, because I knew he would not be willing to put in the effort to talk during the five months apart (which was a MAJOR red flag). In other words, I was LOWERING MY STANDARDS FOR SOMEONE NOT WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME FOR ME (little did I know, getting sent home would bring me the greatest blessing).

The first couple weeks of quarantine were tough. I spent a lot of the time stuck in my own head. I thought about how life was just a few weeks prior and how all I wanted was to have it back. And what I expected to happen with my on campus relationship, happened. I was left wondering if I was being used the last few months because now that we weren’t in each other’s presence, I barely got a text back anymore.

That is when I decided it was time to focus on myself. I spent the rest of March starting a workout routine, getting closer with God and being happy with myself.

Now, I never believed the saying that you’d find your person when you stop looking for them, but it couldn’t have been more accurate for me. Prior to coronacation, I had met a sweet engineering boy who was visiting friends at UST but I didn’t originally want anything more than friends with him (I was too wrapped up in needing validation from the male I was talking to at the time). Quarantine gave me the opportunity to evaluate what I really wanted in a relationship (a HEALTHY bond with someone who felt like home) and who I wanted that relationship with. And I no longer just wanted a healthy relationship with anyone… I wanted it with the boy who treated me like his everything.

Suddenly, the sweet boy I met briefly at a party, Jack, became someone I was facetiming every single night. He became the boy I talked to my family about. He was someone I felt comfortable talking to for hours and never running out of things to say. He became the boy who tucked me in via facetime and didn’t hang up until he knew I was asleep. Jack made his intentions with me clear right from the beginning – there was no confusion or playing around with my heart – it just felt right.

Jack and I had both been in complete lockdown of everyone besides our family, so we decided it was safe for us to go out on a date! Our first date, a couple hour hike and hammocking together, turned into days at the lake, all day movie marathons, night swims, watching fireflies, meeting each other’s families and falling in love.

The other day, on the ride home from Jack’s place, the song “This” by Darius Rucker came on the radio. When I heard the lyrics, I knew exactly why I was hearing the song at this moment.

I didn’t understand it way back when
But sittin’ here right now
It all makes perfect sense

Every stoplight I didn’t make
Every chance I did or I didn’t take
All the nights I went too far
All the girls that broke my heart
All the doors that I had to close
All the things I knew but I didn’t know
Thank God for all I missed
‘Cause it led me here to this

Had I not been sent home from covid, I may never have ended up with my favorite person in the world (which is why it occurred this way).

So now, let me set the scene for you: I’m sitting in my bed at midnight in Jack’s sweatshirt that he let me borrow to protect me from the mosquitos on the way out to my car. I send a goodnight text and hug my pillow knowing that I want to make Jack the happiest man in the world, fully knowing he makes me the happiest girl.

The girl crying in an Uber months ago would’ve never pictured my life like it is right now. I may not have understood it then, “but sittin’ here right now, it all makes perfect sense.” I “thank God for all I missed,” because He “led me here to this” beautiful love. Now, sometimes things don’t make sense to us right away, but remember that every single moment happens for a reason. And Jack, I got sent home so we could fall in love, and I am holding you to that promise you made to never break my heart.

With Love (mostly to Jack though), Marin

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